. . . commend them

. . . I found myself watching all the other faces.  The faces of young adults who once were children whom I have sat with over math pages or in a small half circle reading all together aloud.  Children who have dripped tears on my sleeve when they fell.  When their best friend turned traitor.
.

Children who became teens who have arched up into the air to make the winning point,  or to miss.  Who have gotten the starring roles.  And those who have not.  Young people who have run with grace, chin up, strong arched ribcage breaking the ribbon.  Who have doggedly kept trying with unconscious courage.  Who have played jazz with self-forgetting concentration.  Those who have scowled into an open book, their back up against the tile wall.  Who have laughed at their own cleverness.  Who have planted a hundred trees.  Trained an unbroken hourse.  Rebuilt the engine of a truck to run on electricity.  Taught second graders how to swim. Who have been kind behind the scenes and brilliantly funny out under the lights.

And then she sat down again, my daughter, among her cohort, her mates.  And the principal called out the name of every student, one by one, Eldest’s name among them, as one among them.  And each came forward as the crowd applauded every one.  And when they had all sat down again, and only then, as one, they reached hands up to their silly caps and moved the silly tassels from one side to the other, moving together, passing together over a moment’s arbitrary threshhold, the way a body passes through a gate.
.
 Oh, weary world, do not despair.

This is the class of 2010.  There are good hands and wise heads, strong shoulders and brave hearts coming forward now. . . .

.
[story: “rutherford cup“]
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